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Doubts about nuclear renaissance

Nuclear Monitor Issue: 

Doubts about nuclear renaissance, even in nuclear industry.
There are some uncomfortable feelings in the nuclear industry surfacing, regarding the pace and results sofar of the 'nuclear renaissance'. Just read for example the first lines of this article in the June issue of Nuclear News, the monthly magazine of the American Nuclear Society.

''Longtime readers of NuclearNews may have watched with some bemusement over the past few years as the “Renaissance Watch” summation in the Power section has grown from a modest sidebar to a sprawling two-page spread. In this issue—and, the editors hope, only in this issue—the summation has been enlarged further to allow some issues to be addressed at greater length, along with the usual updates on specific projects. In what was supposed to be a streamlined, straightforward process for design approval and licensing, under 10 CFR Part 52, nearly every initiative has taken on unintended complexities. Industry leaders have long bemoaned “regulatory uncertainty” (in day-today operations as well as in license applications), but there are sources of uncertainty in virtually every aspect of the new-reactors endeavor.

In the past few months in particular, the actions of state governments have had great influence on new reactor projects. In the abstract, there seems to be a trend in favor of nuclear power, but in practical terms, efforts to remove reactor bans or encourage nuclear development in places such as Kentucky and West Virginia, where there are no current plans by electricity providers to build reactors, are less significant than rate recovery proposals. Georgia has approved rate recovery, so Vogtle-3 and -4 are on track; Missouri has not, so Callaway-2 has been suspended. Other recent state-level actions include the rejection (for the fifth time) of a bill introduced in the California legislature by Assemblyman Chuck DeVore to repeal the state’s new-reactor ban, and a split between the two houses of the Minnesota legislature on a proposed ban repeal.

The article concludes (in the lead): "State governments, federal agencies, reactor vendors, license applicants, and the economy are all contributing to the air of doubt surrounding new reactor projects in the United States."

The whole article can be found at:

Vogtle 3Vogtle 4Callaway